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Strong. Secure. United.

JEWISH HARTFORD SECURE COMMUNITY INITIATIVE

"We are living in a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise globally and throughout the United States. The fact is that it can happen right here in the Greater Hartford area, and we need to be prepared and we need to take action." - Michael Cantor, Co-Chair, Federation's Security Task Force

An urgent need

Over the past several years, anti-Semitism and acts of violence targeting Jews and Jewish institutions have increased dramatically across the United States. In response, Jewish Federations are entering into partnerships with the Secure Community Network (SCN), the official homeland security and safety initiative of the organized Jewish community in North America. Together, they are proactively hiring professional security directors – typically, former high-level law enforcement professionals – who build and implement community-wide security plans, strengthen law enforcement relationships at every level, and prepare local institutions and community members for action. 

Greater Hartford’s response

The Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford has established a comprehensive Secure Community Initiative to bolster the safety of our local Jewish institutions and community members. So far, SCN experts have conducted preliminary site assessments and developed a template for building security capacity. SCN leaders regularly coordinate with Federation staff, have briefed our Security Committee and lay and professional leadership from across the region, and have already presented trainings on cybersecurity and countering active threats.

Our Federation recently entered into a formal partnership with SCN and we are currently in the process of hiring a Security Director who will report jointly to SCN and our President and CEO. We have also established a Security Committee to support security planning, implementation, modification, and maintenance and engage our entire community in embracing the new security framework. We will soon convene a Security Council with representatives from every Jewish agency, school, and synagogue in our region.

How you can help

With your generous support, we can ensure that Greater Hartford’s Jewish community is prepared to prevent and – if need be – quickly respond to any security threat. 

Our immediate goal is to raise $460,000 to fund the first two years of the initiative. This amount would allow us to: 

  • Fund the Security Director position for the first two years
  • Complete a comprehensive, community-wide safety and security assessment 
  • Hold a safety and security Town Hall, followed by training plans and programs for the entire community and for individual institutions
  • Begin threat, vulnerability, and risk assessments for individual institutions and provide specific recommendations for improvement
  • Expand the Security Committee
  • Recruit liaisons from each Jewish institution to serve on the Security Council
  • Strengthen existing law enforcement relationships and deepen intelligence sharing
  • Develop and implement a community-wide crisis communications plan
  • Provide initial grant-writing support to help institutions apply for federal and state funds

We are also launching an endowment campaign to implement security programs more broadly and ensure long-term sustainability. A $6.5 million endowment will provide perpetual funding for security operations.

To learn more about the Secure Community Initiative, please contact Laura Zimmerman, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President, at lzimmerman@jewishhartford.org. To make a gift or pledge to the initiative, please contact Hayley Wasser, Vice President of Development, at hwasser@jewishhartford.org.